(June 13, 2014) -- All-American Richard Garrett Jr. finished fourth in the shot put and fellow All-American Keyunta Hayes advanced to the 400-meter hurdles final to lead the UTSA men's track and field team Wednesday in Eugene, Ore., during the opening day of competition at the NCAA Championships at historic Hayward Field.
Garrett Jr., who earned the third All-America certificate of his decorated career, registered his fifth school record of his final season as a Roadrunner on his fifth attempt of the night. The senior from Garland launched a measurement of 66-1 (20.14m), and that added three-and-a-quarter inches to his winning put at last month's Conference USA Championships. He qualified for the nine-man final with a semifinal heave of 64-2 ½ (19.57m), which came on his opening toss of the competition, and that was the fifth-best mark of the round.
Garrett Jr., who just missed a bronze medal by three-quarters of an inch, finished behind Texas' Ryan Crouser (69-3 ½/21.12m), Cornell's Stephen Mozia (67-1 ½/20.46m) and Georgia's Nick Vena (66-1 ¾/20.16m). His previous best national finish was 11th two years ago in Des Moines, Iowa.
"Although I had my sights set on winning the first national championship in school history, I can't complain about setting a PR in my final collegiate meet," Garrett Jr. said. "I gave it everything I had and that's all you can ask for. There is no shame in finishing fourth and this was a great way to end my career. I want to thank Coach (Aaron) Fox and Coach (Chris) Adams for taking a chance on me five years ago and helping develop me into the person I am today."
Meanwhile, Hayes earned an automatic spot in his specialty event after placing second in third semifinal heat, as he crossed the finish line in 50.68.
"Tonight wasn't easy, but my goal was to advance to Friday and that's what I was able to do," the Tyler native said. "Tomorrow will be an important day in terms of getting rest and formulating my game plan for the final. I've been working toward this moment for two years now, and I'm looking forward to representing UTSA to the best of my abilities. Hopefully, that means bringing a national championship back home with me."
Kansas' Michael Stigler clocked the evening's fastest time of 49.34 and he and Hayes will be joined by Nebraska's Miles Ukaoma (49.70), Colorado State's Trevor Brown (49.89), North Carolina's Rilwan Alowonle (50.40), LSU's Quincy Downing (50.55), Baylor's Timothy Holmes (50.56) and Stephen F. Austin's Josh Taylor (50.58) in Friday's final, which is scheduled for 6:33 p.m. (CT). It will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
Hayes, who finished fourth two years ago, will be in search of the first national title in UTSA athletics history.
Andrew Akens, the Roadrunners' other competitor of the night, finished with a measurement of 55-11 (17.04m) in the shot, but he was unable to advance to the final. However, the junior from Mesquite, who was making his first-ever appearance at the national meet, became the 12th All-American in program annals by earning honorable mention accolades by virtue of his 23rd-place performance.
"I'm proud of the job all three guys did today," head coach Aaron Fox said. "Richard's performance was a fitting end to an outstanding career, and I'm looking forward to Keyunta finishing his season strong in Friday's final. Those two sacrificed a year for the program last season and performing well at the national meet is a great reward for them."
Read more and view a photo gallery at the UTSA Athletics website.
This story was republished courtesy of UTSA Athletics.
The Spring Research Conference offers graduate and undergraduate students pursuing majors in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts the opportunity to present their original work in a forum of interested and critically engaged minds that is at the same time welcoming and inclusive.
Various locations, Main Campus
Mimi Marziani, executive director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, will speak about civil rights advocacy, political campaigns, election law and nonprofit management.
SAWS Headquarters, 2800 U.S. Highway 281 North, San Antonio
Join the Center for Military Families for a panel on Politics in the Service of Military Families, featuring Cedric Leighton, David Splitter, Steve Huerta, and the Office of Congressman Henry Cuellar. The event is free and open to the public.
Buena Vista Street Building, Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BVB 1.328), Downtown Campus
UTSA Dance classes will take the stage and share their talents and passion for dance! Come support our growing dance program! $10 admission
Buena Vista Street Building Theater (BVB 1.326), Downtown Campus
This panel presentation will look at the history of the YWCA and the impact the organization has had on women in the San Antonio community.
McKinney Humanities Building (MH 2.02.10), Main Campus
The Demography Lecture Series continues with Dr. Barbara Bird of American University. Her topic focuses on Insights Into a Hard to Find Population: Latino Entrepreneurs in Metro Washington, D.C. Event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the pay stall spaces of the Monterrey surface lot.
Monterrey Building (MNT 3.240), Downtown Campus
This video tells the story of four Latina lesbians who fought for exoneration after being wrongfully convicted of sexually assaulting two girls during the Satanic Panic witch-hunt era of the 1980s and 1990s.
North Paseo Building (NPB 1.114), Main Campus
Tejana/Indígena author Ire'ne Lara Ailva will read from her latest work and discuss her approach to reimagining Tejan@ myths.
Main Building (MB 2.404), Main Campus
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